November 24, 2014
‘An association of mutual admiration’
In a press conference held yesterday at the Colón, Barenboim spoke to the media for the second time in the week, but on this occasion, instead of Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri, he was in the company of his fellow musician Argerich.
They have not often played together. However, they consider that these opportunities are an “association of mutual admiration.”
“Martha is extraordinary! I just follow her,” stated Barenboim, to which Argerich responded, “I learn a lot from him, I also blunder.”
As an introduction, Argerich said she was very pleased to be in Buenos Aires along with Daniel and the West-Eastern Divan, the orchestra founded byArgentine-Israeli musician Barenboim and Palestinian author-scholar Edward Said in 1999.
“The West-Eastern Divan began as music sometimes begins. It started without having the first note clearly defined.
“Around 60 percent of the members had never played in an orchestra before and almost 30 percent had not heard a live orchestra in their lives,” Barenboim explained.
In just a few years, the orchestra reached an excellent standard. Barenboim pointed out that talent alone is not enough, even if there are lots of talented musicians, and that the Salzburg Festival 2007 was “the orchestra’s coming-of-age.”
Barenboim added that it was not by chance. In 2002 the orchestra was ‘“lucky enough to find a home in Seville.
“The regional Spanish government of Andalusia offered the orchestra not only a place to establish and the necessary economic assistance, but it also invested money for training. Continuity in music is essential,” he stated.Regarding the repertoire he plays with Argerich, Barenboim highlighted that it is the same programme they played in Berlin. “There isn’t any artistic reason for the selection, it has to do with a matter of logistics,” he concluded.